This is not the first planned public installation for Solar Roadways. That honor goes to the city of Sandpoint in Idaho, where it was announced in April that the panels would be installed on a concrete area near a fountain inside the city.
In this latest project, the finer details are not yet clear. For example, it hasn’t been announced how big a space will be covered, nor what the panels will be powering. The cost also isn’t clear, although Blair said that the project would be crowdfunded.
But while it remains a nice idea, it’s difficult to see how this will ever be useful for anything aside from a few small projects like these, and even then it would surely just be cheaper to install actual solar panels. On their Indiegogo page, the couple behind the project – Scott and Julie Brusaw – originally said they wanted to take their idea to the “world’s roadways.” That may, unfortunately, remain a pipe dream.
Other countries, like France, have announced similar plans to develop solar-paneled roads. But while they might work on a local level, unless the cost can be drastically reduced, you probably won't be driving down a solar-paneled highway anytime soon.
Is this what roads of the future will look like? Don't bet on it just yet. Solar Roadways®